Who are the children excluded from education in Afghanistan?
“Nearly half of children between 7 and 17 years in Afghanistan do not go to school”, worries Unicef, the Fund of the United Nations Children’s Fund, in its latest report on this country ravaged by war between the authorities supported by Americans and the taliban movement. It is also the first time since 2002 and the flight of the Taliban that the enrolment rate is declining in this country.
The unschooled about also affects the primary (43.7% of children out of school), that secondary (41.7%) and twice hit both urban and rural areas. Schoolgirls representing them only 60% of children left out of the school system. “In the provinces most affected, including Kandahar, Helmand, Wardak, Paktika, Zabul and Uruzgan, up to 85% of girls do not attend school”, is alarmed by Unicef.
What are the obstacles to education in Afghanistan?
For the experts from Unicef, the growing schooling of children is explained by “the worsening of the conflict and the increase in insecurity across the country, combined with deep-rooted poverty and discrimination against the. girls’.
Many reasons are pushing families to keep their children at home: the blocking of roads by the belligerents, the fear of suicide bombings, the hostility of the Islamist movements against the education of girls, the departure of teachers, in particularly female staff, rural areas affected by the fighting or fell under the control of the insurgents.
In addition to the war, enrolment remains hampered by cultural and economic barriers. Many children (20% of 7 years and 40% of 12 years) are used daily for work fields or making handicrafts, reducing their tuition time. Finally, the education of girls remains frowned upon in many regions, particularly in the South of the country, where traditional gender discrimination remain the more entrenched.
Why the development of education has long presented as a success of the American intervention?
The international community, Americans and Europeans in mind, has poured tens of billions of euros to help rebuild the Afghanistan after the American intervention and the fall of the Taliban in 2001. Between waste, corruption, poorly thought-out projects, critics have accumulated on the use of these development funds in a country with weak governance. Among the few items of satisfaction, aid actors stressed the emphasis placed on education, starting with the girls.
Between 2001, date of the end of the taliban regime, and 2013, beginning of the withdrawal of the bulk of the troops of NATO, the girls had returned to classes after to have been hunted between 1996 and 2001. Their numbers have exploded, from 5 000 to 2.4 million, in 2012.
Another clue to a profound change, 36% of the 158 000 teachers are women at the time when the Americans begin to disengage from the country. Trends remind however that development, nothing is certain in a country at war.